Topic Author
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Bridgetown (Barbados) Info Request

Fri Nov 04, 2005 1:22 am

I'm off to BGI for a week (20-26 Nov) with BWIA. Having never visited this airport before, can anyone advise of what the busiest times there are likely to be, what mix of traffic to expect and what the viewing is like? I am most interested in 737s down to Dash 8s and other local traffic.
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RE: Bridgetown (Barbados) Info Request

Fri Nov 04, 2005 3:21 am

I was down there this summer and the busiest time was in the early afternoon when the flights from Europe (Virgin/BA/BWIA) arrive as well as the flights from the US (AC/AA/US). The terminal, which was under construction at the time, was quite busy during this time. Once all these large flights arrived, the island hoppers (LIAT/Caribbean Star) would then all leave to the various islands. Unfortunately, they're difficult to see from the terminal since they park off to the right, but you may be able to see them if you walk around a bit.
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RE: Bridgetown (Barbados) Info Request

Sat Nov 05, 2005 9:07 am

If you go on one of the local island flights say to St lucia or St vincent and the grenadines you will fly in a twin otter go to the front seat and you will be seating closer to the captain than the F/O. You will practically be sitting in the cockpit and have an excellent view of the approach.  bouncy 
your pilots today on this 747 flight are captain oliver hardy and assisting will be FO stan laurel.Have a safe flight
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RE: Bridgetown (Barbados) Info Request

Sat Nov 05, 2005 4:47 pm

As Spyderz stated, early/mid afternoon is a good time to catch most of the international arrivals. In addition to the regular schedule flights there are usually a host of UK charters but these tend to vary depending on the particular day. In the mornings you can also catch some activity with AA flights to MIA and SJU and also a number of BWIA, LIAT and Caribbean Star flights.

A good place to view is opposite the terminal on the side with the fire station. There is the Barbados Light Aeroplane Club there and you can usually get a good view. Also at the end of the runway there is a field where many people tend to wait for the arrivals. It was a popular spot to catch the Concorde on arrival. The viewing area in the terminal was reduced a few years back and so you don't really get very good views from there anymore. Not sure what is happening now with the new developments.
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RE: Bridgetown (Barbados) Info Request

Sun Nov 06, 2005 10:55 am

BGI is a place that offers a wide range of air traffic so one should get lots to see. The problem is I have never spotted there so I do not know where to get the best views.

The early morning sees many LIAT and Caribbean Star (LI and 8B) services depart BGI for nearby islands - one can also see Trans Island Airways (TIA) services which provide charters and some scheduled services to the islands. AA and American Eagle also have early departures. BW comes in early with its KIN service and on some days MIA flights. As the morning goes on the LI and 8B services come and go at regular intervals. The long-haul flights from the UK and Europe arrive in the early to mid afternoon - since you will go in late November the charters will be starting up but their peak will come after Christmas. AA, JM, AC and BW also have flights in during this time - 3 days per week BW 901 from LHR stops in BGI so if you spot on Sat or Mon (I do not recall which is the other day) you will see the A340 which you would have flown down on!

The long haul flights tend to depart in the late afternoon and by evening the traffic slows down somewhat. Generally the last long haul out is BW 900 to LHR on those days it goes via BGI (twice weekly it goes via UVF and twice via ANU) and then the inter-island flights tend to come in and the planes park for the night.

Dash 8s are in profusion in BGI with the large fleets of 8B and LI offering many fine specimens. BW 738s, JM A320s, AA 757s, 767s and A300s and the A320s of AC (also 767s) and US Airways are the common types there along with BA 777s and VS 747-400s.

Have a good time in Barbados.

Hop to it, fly for life!
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RE: Bridgetown (Barbados) Info Request

Sun Nov 06, 2005 11:28 am

I love passing thorugh BGI, there is quite some activity. In addition to what was mentioned, I have seen Continental and their B737-700 but I can't remember the days. Then forget not the european charters... Condor 763, I have seen Britannia 763, Thomas Cook A330. And of course we have the freighters and their sporty 727's Amerijet and DHL. Look out for Amerijet they tend to get a little excited and do something cool on take off. I once saw the 727 pretty much fly over the runway leveled, and pull up at the end, that was pretty awesome.
There is something special about planes....
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RE: Bridgetown (Barbados) Info Request

Sun Nov 06, 2005 11:33 am

Hope you have a good time down there. I'm from Barbados, but live in the US now, so I always like to hear when people go to Barbados. As was said in an earlier post there is a lot of construction going on at Grantey Adams Airport right now, so pardon the dust. The new arrivals hall opened in July I think but I haven't seen it yet. The construction has been a very long process, it started in 2002, was supposed to be finished in 2004 I think, but now it's almost 2006 and it's still going on. Things in the island move at a much slower pace. But I can't wait for it to be all complete, I really think once it's done it will be one of the nicer airports in the Caribbean again. At the time the current terminal was completed in 1979 it was very modern. Unfortunately it got quite run down over the years, so the present construction was very much needed.

Take some photos and post them on this site. I'm surprised that given that Barbados has quite a wide variety of aircraft movements that there aren't more photos of BGI posted on this site.

Have a good time.
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RE: Bridgetown (Barbados) Info Request

Sun Nov 06, 2005 11:39 am

I find it is difficult to spot in BGI. The traffic is great, but it is hard to spot from the terminal. The only places I can see the tarmac, is in the departure lounge, or upstairs in the restaurant. The view from the restaurant is obstructed a bit by the roof of the departure lounge. There is supposed to be a spot near the threshold, is that correct? Needless to say, it is nice just to enjoy the view with a bottle of BANKS beer.
There is something special about planes....
Topic Author
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RE: Bridgetown (Barbados) Info Request

Mon Nov 07, 2005 8:37 pm

Thanks for all your responses so far. If I do get to visit the airport (apart from when arriving and departing) it will be only once, so I will bear this advice in mind when choosing my time.

No doubt I will be flying on 9YJIL which for some reason seems to do all the flights from Manchester.
BWIA 772
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RE: Bridgetown (Barbados) Info Request

Mon Nov 07, 2005 10:56 pm

Candid 76

Enjoy your time hear in BGI. The airport terminal is undergoing construction. The new departure hall is finished. The main theme in the new airport the tent like structures they used at the Denver Airport. A nice thing to go on is the island safari or island adventure tours its a different approach to the "island tour". Spots to check our are St. Lawrence Gap for the night life. Do not forget that to walk back with your rum and rum punch Big grin

I think the reason why JIL does MAN most of the time probally has to do with the fact of its lower capacity compared to TJN.
Eagles Soar!
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RE: Bridgetown (Barbados) Info Request

Mon Nov 07, 2005 11:27 pm

Quoting Captaink (Reply 7):
I find it is difficult to spot in BGI.

It might be hard to spot from close by, but the approach is right in front of several beaches full of sun, bars and other fruits of the earth (..). Too bad the concordes are gone, but there was nothing like a lazy beach day and watch the concorde come screaming in!

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